Is There Linux on Mars?
Enabled in part by Linux, the Beagle 2 Mars Lander is due to land on Christmas Day
By: Linux News Desk
Dec. 12, 2003 12:00 AM
On 26 December, if all goes well and if a single workstation running Linux proves itself up to the task of running a space probe, the world will learn that "the Beagle has landed."
The workstation in question is installed at the Lander Operations Control Centre, part of Britain's new National Space Center in Leicester, England. It uses something called SCOS (Spacecraft Control Operating System) which sits on top of Linux, and there are two more Linux-based systems as back-up.
The Beagle 2 Mars Lander, according to a report this morning at whatpc.co.uk, is scheduled to separate from the European Space Agency's Mars Express rocket on Friday, December 19, and is reckoned to have only a 50:50 chance of success. No fault of Linux - the actual landing site is one imponderable factor that could affect comms detrimentally if the Beagle 2 is unlucky. If all goes well, the landfall will take place at 08:51 EST on Christmas Day, December 25.
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